The International Day of Happiness is celebrated worldwide on the 20th of March every year. It was conceptualised and founded by philanthropist, activist, statesman, and prominent United Nations special advisor Jayme Illien to inspire, mobilise, and advance the global happiness movement. The International Day of Happiness was established in 2012, when all 193 Member states adopted UN resolution 66/281 on the Day.

The first International Day of Happiness was celebrated in 2013. The UN resolution recognised happiness as a “fundamental human goal” and called for “a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes the happiness and well-being of all peoples”. In 2011, Mr. Illien brought the idea and concept of creating a new global day of awareness, the International Day of Happiness, to senior United Nations Officials. Mr. Illien successfully campaigned to unite a global coalition of all 193 United Nations member states, and secured the endorsement of then Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki moon, to support the concept of establishing a new official international UN calendar day of observance known as the International Day of Happiness. This year’s general theme is ”Happier Together”, focusing on what we have in common, rather than what divides us.

This year’s day is being observed throughout the globe with a campaign that promotes #TEN STEPS TO GLOBAL HAPPINESS.

Step One encourages people to tell others about happiness. It is believed face to face wishes of happiness and a smile will help to spread joy and awareness of the celebration. Step two, urges us to do what makes us happy. Happiness is contagious and spreading it makes the world around us cheerful. Being free to make life choices, giving, exercising, spending time with friends and and family, taking time to reflect and meditate, helping others, and spreading happiness to others are all great ways to celebrate Happiness Day. Focusing on the positive energy around us and our friendly attitude towards others will spread joy and unity.

Another step is a pledge to create more happiness in the world. Also, citizens of the World are encouraged to celebrate a happiness event within the week. Again, we are entreated to share happiness with people around us while promoting UN resolution 65/309 which preaches happiness; towards a holisting approach to development. Everyone wants to be happy and life is happier when we’re together.

So, let’s celebrate our common humanity and avoid acts that tend to make us sad and negative towards people around us. Dr Mark Williamson, a psychiatrist and co-founder and Director of Action for Happiness observed that “The International Day of Happiness is more than just a fun celebration, it also reminds us all that the world is a better place when we connect with and care about the people around us”.

As we mark this day, our thoughts are with people in war torn areas across the globe whose happiness have been taken away from them. Let us resolve to engage in acts that radiate happiness and development in our national and private lives.

Yes! many are our daily afflictions but as a song writer puts it DON’T WORRY!

By Dominic Hlordzi, A Journalist.

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